IOC ‘fully committed’ to delivering Tokyo 2020 this summer
By Sampson Adedeji
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that it is fully committed to hosting this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Games as scheduled, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came after consultations with Olympic stakeholders on 17th March, including Olympic sports federations, national Olympic committees (NOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and athlete representatives, BSN Reports
The IOC’s latest bullish press communication came after Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe avoided comment on the timing of the event on 16th March during questioning following a G7 leaders’ video conference.
“I want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics perfectly, as proof that the human race will conquer the new coronavirus, and I gained support for that from the G7 leaders,” he told reporters.
However, the IOC has said that it has ‘confidence that the many measures being taken by many authorities around the world will help contain the situation of the Covid-19 virus’ and that there is ‘no need for any drastic decisions’ to be taken four months out from the event.
A number of measures have also been put in place to allow for testing of ‘essential Games elements’, the IOC has also said, including the lighting of the Olympic torch in Greece, and the changes to the torch relay in Japan.
Toshiro Muto, chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games organising committee, said that the Japanese leg of the Olympic torch relay would be staged despite the pandemic threat.
The Olympic flame is due to arrive in Japan on 19th March from Greece, where the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) and the nation’s ministry of health decided to cancel the Greek leg, and is set to tour Japan for four months ahead of Tokyo 2020’s planned opening ceremony on 24th July.
“We’d like to ask people who are feeling unwell to refrain from being on the roadside,” Muto said of the committee’s plans for the torch relay. “We would also like to ask people to avoid crowds when cheering along the road. In the event of overcrowding, we may have to change the way we carry out the relay,” he concluded.